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  • Question about Changelings and mages

    I'm currently running a changeling/vampire crossover game. We had a question having to do with other splats. Can mages see through a changelings mask ? or even sense their powers ?

  • #2
    First or second edition?

    Going by my memory of first: the Unseen Senses would intuit the use of Contracts and other active changeling magic normally. The Mage Sight spells can allow a mage's perceptions to pierce the Mask, but the spellcasting roll is penalized by three dice and contested by the changeling's Resolve + Wyrd. (Auspex's Aura Perception can do the same.)

    I'm a little unclear on how second edition Changeling spoilers rule other supernaturals piercing the Mask. I think, from my reading, that the simple use of an appropriate supernatural sense (I would guess active Mage Sight in this case?) allows a character to perceive the mien, without any extra contesting or roll penalty or anything. I could be wrong, though, and the Changeling book's not out yet so any spoilers are preliminary anyway.

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    • #3
      When will changeling 2ed be released ?

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      • #4
        Changelings in 2e can also strengthen their Mask by using a Glamour for the rest of the scene, making anything that can see through the Mask just see...well, the Mask. However, their shadow betrays their normal shape all the same.

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        • #5
          First edition had this to say in Rites of Spring: "A mage may pierce the Mask with any Mage Sight spell by making an opposed spellcasting roll (Gnosis + Arcanum or the rote dice pool, as appropriate) versus Resolve + Wyrd as a reflexive action."

          The negative three penalty mentioned already was (if my memory serves) a suggested adjustment for when a Changeling burns a glamour to strengthen the mask (something they could do in the core book to try to hide their nature from Gentry and other Lost who normally can see through the Mask automatically) from one of the developers or writers of Rites.

          Note that these rules are strictly about seeing the Changeling's Mask. There are easier ways to detect the Changeling, at least in terms of there being something strange about them. Aura detection will typically expose strange "bands" running through the aura if a changeling has made a pledge (there's disagreement on whether those "bands" are always visible or only when a pledge is activated or the benefits are reaped....I was always fine with them always being there). Presumably spells that can detect Fate or Time magics will detect changelings when appropriate, most obviously when invoking Contracts or Talecrafting.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by nothri View Post
            The negative three penalty mentioned already was (if my memory serves) a suggested adjustment for when a Changeling burns a glamour to strengthen the mask (something they could do in the core book to try to hide their nature from Gentry and other Lost who normally can see through the Mask automatically) from one of the developers or writers of Rites.
            It's right in the text of Rites, two paragraphs before the sentence you quoted. It doesn't read to me like it's referring to when the changeling is strengthening the Mask; was it clarified later?

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            • #7
              People better at Mage are free to shoot me down. but since so much of what makes the Mask is relevant to the Arcanum, a decent enough Mind Unveiling spell could probably reveal the Mein to a mage. You might need a dot of Fate since that's the thread that sews the Mind stuff together.

              The Active Mage Sight would reveal the various powers that constitute their magical identity-Fate and Mind or Space at all times, Forces if it's a fire elemental or something along those lines, Matter or Death if it's a barrow-wight, Life if Bambi's mom has got it going on, etc.-to a point where it's clear there's a magical being on your hand rather than someone merely touched by it. Heaven forbid what would happen if you used Focused Mage Sight on a changeling trying to break through-they'd get deep into the Mystery Play of their Durance when their Mask was established interlaced with the memories and emotions and expectations and perceptions that define it, which might not be the healthiest thing ever(but when is FMS ever healthy).

              But for just seeing the Mein, Mind Unveiling. being Withstood by either Resolve or Composure, with a bonus based on if they were strengthening it or not.


              Sean K.I.W. Steele, Onyx Path Freelancer
              Working on:The Hedge(?), Night Horrors: Enemy Action
              The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey

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              • #8
                And oh yeah, Mages know when a changeling is magicing it up.


                Sean K.I.W. Steele, Onyx Path Freelancer
                Working on:The Hedge(?), Night Horrors: Enemy Action
                The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Basic View Post
                  When will changeling 2ed be released ?
                  When it's done.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Stupid Loserman View Post

                    It's right in the text of Rites, two paragraphs before the sentence you quoted. It doesn't read to me like it's referring to when the changeling is strengthening the Mask; was it clarified later?
                    Heh. Longer than I thought, apparently. I was thinking at some point in the conversation (which again was years ago) someone had suggested the strengthening of the Mask be given a additional -3 on top of everything else. Which seemed excessive to most everybody else (and if my memory is accurate, is pretty damned outrageous). I think what I was saying before was a suggestion back in the opposite direction, that the default mask be given a normal resistance roll without any penalties and the strengthened mask use the minus 3. A third suggestion, even more outrageous than the -6 penalty, was to make a strengthened Mask impenetrable for while it lasts. I think a lot of us were a little too enthralled with the notion that Changelings were the best at being unseen and hard to catch back in the day when Demons weren't a thing and the Lost were supposedly the most paranoid and obsessed with staying hidden (though I'm sure the vampires might argue that point).

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                    • #11
                      EDIT - this all refers to 2e.

                      I'd suggest Prime's Pierce Deception spell and Mind's Mental Shield (+1 Reach aimed at fae sources). In both cases, we'd have a Clash of Wills, with the changeling having the advantage, given that the Mask would probably have a +4 bonus from the Duration.

                      Mages could sense when a changeling uses a Contract, doing their dream things, opening a door to the Hedge, or making some kind of pledge / goblin vow. I don't believe that mage senses could pick up on the passive effects of the Mask. Not sure about slipping out of shackles or hedge fruits, though my knee jerk reaction is to say no. I do however feel like mages would sense the magical pledges that pretty much all changelings carry - they're active non-concealment supernatural effects, after all.

                      That said, this swings both ways. Unless a mage is concealing / not using their magic, changelings can Ken a mage. Depending on the ST*, Kenning can work just as well as passive Mage Sight when it comes to sensing stray magics, and I'm hard pressed to imagine a mage without some kind of Attainment or spell active. I've heard from the vampire developers in the past that the intent is that vampires and werewolves will instantly recognize each other by sight if they ever encounter the other through their predatory senses; I feel like mages and changelings will sense each other in a similar manner through Peripheral Mage Sight and Kenning the moment they're both in the same area. Its possible to cloak all that, but that requires actively hiding


                      * The actual wording of Kenning says, "The Storyteller may make this roll on the character's behalf as a reflexive ability." Which means that some STs might choose to ignore something supernatural going on, whereas Peripheral Mage Sight will pick it up without fail. I tend to run

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                      • #12
                        Yeah, I think that Peripheral Mage Sigh and Kenning would be enought for 'this guy is wierd'. I still thinks that Active Mage sight would not be enought for unravel the Mask ( for this are Unraveling spells ) BUT Focused Mage Sight should show changeling as 'human' that is overwritten with centaur symbol, for example. And whole shadow thing of Lost should point to mage that it's true. Untill changeling drop the Mask, mage should more think that fae is simply possesed by some spirit. Untill he checks for Fate magic...


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                          Yeah, I think that Peripheral Mage Sigh and Kenning would be enought for 'this guy is wierd'. I still thinks that Active Mage sight would not be enought for unravel the Mask ( for this are Unraveling spells ) BUT Focused Mage Sight should show changeling as 'human' that is overwritten with centaur symbol, for example. And whole shadow thing of Lost should point to mage that it's true. Untill changeling drop the Mask, mage should more think that fae is simply possesed by some spirit. Untill he checks for Fate magic...
                          There'd be no overwriting. There is transformation, but there ain't no human that remains. Changelings are all fairy, baby. It is one of the bigger causes of their distress.


                          Sean K.I.W. Steele, Onyx Path Freelancer
                          Working on:The Hedge(?), Night Horrors: Enemy Action
                          The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey

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                          • #14
                            I was writing from mage perspective - totally human looking body has instead Centaur Symbol in place of human in Focused Mage Sight.


                            MtAw 2E - My Legacies Updates and System Hacks Hubs
                            MtAw - Children of the Stars - aliens loving Legacy
                            MtAw 2E - Illusionists of Truth - illusionists and magicians Legacy

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                            • #15
                              We're falling into Mage territory here, but a bit of Mage Sight discussion.

                              Mage Sight highlights all phenomeon related to the Arcana being used. So, at best, your Active Mage Sight for Mind (or Prime?*) could highlight the Mask and that something Mind-y is going on there. But that's it - something related to Mind, which could be anything. Assuming that it can highlight the Mask at all, given that crossover concealment sidebar being so vague. Of course, if someone reached for Fate first, then they'd get the pledges highlighted instead of the Mask.

                              Then, the mage likely moves on to Focused Mage Sight. If we're under Fate Sight, we're going to just be studying the pledges bound into the changeling, and quite possibly missing that the person in quesiton is supernatural, only seeing that they're supernaturally bound. Deep Information might reveal that the pledges are fae-made, and perhaps what boons they grant, assuming the mage has scrutinzed something fae before; if the ST rules you can see rough benefits, this can yield information that leads one to conclude that the pledges are on someone inhuman (especially Court pledges). If we're under Mind, you're going to be getting information on a non-supernal Veiling effect that causes hallucinations that alter how one is percieved as well as an related Patterning effect (fae are part dream). That could likely cause some confusion.

                              Always remember that Mage Sight targets a specific phenomenon related to the active Arcana. You may be scrutinizing the changeling, but for the wrong phenomeon (scrutinzing with more than one Arcana inflicts penalties, so that's a question as well). So far, we've talked about Mind (and possibly Prime) and Fate; you won't be able to see a centaur-based symbol unless you have Life active for some reason, nor a fire symbol for an Ifrit under Forces, etc. And, even then, only if you use Deep Scrutiny - Surface Information would only yield that there's an additional non-Supernal effect related to the other Arcana, the age of the Mystery and that its Patterning. Given that the Opacity of a changeling's transformation is 9 at minimum**, I don't think that most mages will be able to get through 45+ successes without concerted effort in a controlled environment. So, I don't think its viable to have a mage see a symbol representing their kith/seeming, or any other Deep Information, outside of captivity studies. Also- good luck capturing a changeling. Well, you could convince a changeling to be a willing subject for a prolonged period of time without use of force or magic, but that's a separate story in itself.


                              The long and the short of this discussion is that Mage Sight alone is ill equipped for seeing a changeling's nature. There are a number of hints you could pick up from Active and Focused-Revelation, but the information from Scrutiny is likely out of reach. But then, you should really have enough information from a simple Revelation to cast the right spells to see past the Mask.


                              * Prime is the Arcana of Truth and Revelation, and I can see the argument that the Mask is equivalent to a Veiling spell against seeing the truth of the changeling's fae nature. So, an obrimos would see something Prime-y going on instead of Mind-y, if your ST so rules this way. Bleedover between Arcana and all is a thing, so multiple Arcana can apply depending on the Mystery in question.

                              ** 4 from being a Patterning effect as a base. The effect needs Life / Mind / Fate at minimum, give that this is changing a living being into one of dreams through a bargain, for +2 at least. And, lastly, multiply the final number by 1.5 for being a non-Supernal effect. At minimum, that's Opacity 9. And that's the smallest number possible. Depending on Kith and Seeming, we could be adding Forces, Matter and/or Death. Time is also arguably wonky around the fae, for another Arcana involved if your ST feels that way, especially given some of the merits available. Cloaked magic adds to Opacity, so that's entirely in ST hands if the Mask counts here as such, and at what level. 9 may be the minimum, but an Opacity of 12 or more is entirely reasonable.

                              There'd be no overwriting. There is transformation, but there ain't no human that remains. Changelings are all fairy, baby. It is one of the bigger causes of their distress.
                              I think that wyrd meant that they'd see the Mask trying to tell them that the changeling is human, but supernal symbols peeking through under the false Mask. I think that seeing such a symbol is too difficult, but admittedly, that difficulty alone is enough to tell that something is a Mystery worth longterm study.
                              Last edited by MCN; 12-19-2016, 10:26 AM.

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